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U.S. Routes Australia in Final Tune-up for World Cup of Softball

View the 2005 World Cup of Softball Schedule 

The United States National team opened the summer session in fine fashion, knocking off Australia 10-0 in five innings in an exhibition contest at the Champions Cup in Irvine, Calif. 

The game was a final tune-up for the United States before heading to Oklahoma City for the first-ever World Cup of Softball that kicks off Thursday and runs through July 18. Australia will also take part in the tournament along with Olympic bronze medalist Japan. China and Canada complete the field that will compete in the tournament. 

Team USA's games in the tournament will be televised by ESPN and ESPN2 via tape delay and live feeds. 

The U.S. pounded out 11 hits in the 2004 Olympic Games’ gold medal game re-match. However, a newcomer to the team made the biggest impact in the contest as Kellie Wilkerson went 2-for-2 at the plate with a two-run home run in her first at-bat. 

Jamie Southern earned the win for the U.S. in the circle as she went three innings, allowing one hit and a walk while striking out two. Alicia Hollowell worked one inning and struck out the side while allowing a double. Monica Abbott allowed two hits and struck out one in the fifth inning. 

The pitching staff received plenty of help as the U.S. continued to swing hot bats from the International Sports Invitational. 

The U.S. jumped on top with four runs in the first and never looked back. Natasha Watley kicked off the frame with an infield single. After stealing second, she advanced to third on a sacrifice slap from Caitlin Lowe. Jessica Mendoza scored her with her single to left center, and she later scored herself on an Australia fielding error to put Team USA on top 2-0. 

After Jenny Topping reached base, Wilkerson delivered the two-run home run to center field to cap the four-run first. 

The U.S. offensive assault continued in the second as the squad plated three runs on five hits. Laura Berg started the inning with a bunt single, and she moved into scoring position on a sacrifice from Watley. Lowe advanced Berg to third on her ground ball that hopped over the Australia third baseman, and both scored on Topping’s single to right. 

The Australians went to the bullpen with Jocelyn McCallum, but the U.S. continued to swing hot bats with a base hit from Wilkerson and a double from Jaime Clark that scored Topping to extend the U.S. lead to 7-0. 

Pinch-hitter Stacey Nuveman capped the scoring in the fourth with one swing of the bat. After Topping reached on an error and Tairia Flowers walked, Nuveman blasted a three-run home run to give the U.S. its final 10-0 margin.